By Renae Harg, Senior Associate and Miette Xamon, Law Clerk
Wage theft has been a hot topic over the past 12 months due to a number of high-profile ‘underpayment scandals’ reported in the media.
High-end restaurant Rockpool, owned by celebrity chef Neil Perry, allegedly underpaid workers by $10 million and falsified finger-scanning payroll data. One previous employee of Rockpool alleges he was paid as little as $12 an hour. A second celebrity chef, George Calombaris, also attracted media attention for reportedly underpaying hospitality staff $7.8 million. Calombaris was fined $200,000 and lost numerous television and endorsement opportunities over the backlash from his underpayment scandal.
Large, publicly listed companies were not immune to wage theft issues either. In later October 2019, Woolworths revealed that 5,700 of its salaried employees had been underpaid by up to $300 million due to a failure to pay the workers their entitlements under the General Retail Industry Award 2010. Read More